Changes to both the fostering and adoption regulations are keeping the AFA team busy on all fronts. AFA Cymru have been active supporting feedback from the sector about proposed changes which will bring aspects of welsh practice into line with England by introducing the two stage process in both England and Wales. Although the final drafts of legislation are awaited Helen Hawksworth and Sarah Coldrick are busy updating the Welsh CoramBAAF assessment formats for both fostering and adoption, alongside supporting practitioners in developing a response that the changes will require.
Timescales are tight, with changes needing to be in place by the summer, and final drafts of legislation and guidance still awaited in many areas. The need for change is reflected in the content of our current workshop program and the AFA Cymru Legal Bulletins. You can check out the Workshop Program at www.afacymru.org or give us a call on 02920 761155 or 01745 336336. Sarah’s Legal Bulletins go out regularly to those in the know and are available on our website. They unpick the changes and the implications for practice in a concise and helpful way so do contact us if you wish to be included on our mailing list.
As ever Spring is a busy time for conferences and events. Kim Golding is speaking to a full house in February, and Alexandra Conroy Harries (CoramBAAF) and Jan Way (Inter Country Adoption Centre) are helping us unpick Intercountry Adoption in Wales with Practitioners and Welsh Government.
The 4th National Fostering Framework Conference – Celebrating our Success, is being held in Llandrindod Wells on 5th March 2019. The conference will showcase just some of the innovative practices from each region and the developments at a national level. Invitations have been sent out via our Local Authority partners but do contact us if you are interested in attending.
Adding in our work developing materials for children and young people, and birth families for the National Adoption Service Life Journey Work Toolkit, it’s a busy time all round!
The Wales Adoption Register is improving and will be renamed the Adoption Register for Wales (ARW).
This is more than just a name change; the new Register will be more user friendly and effiecient as well as providing managed access for approved adopters.
See attached Bulletin No.2 January 2019 from the National Adoption Service.
We are delighted to advise that the Kinship Care Best Practice is now complete and available to download - see attachment.
This guide has been drawn together with the assistance of practitioners across Wales and by family members who have been through the assessment process themselves. The members of the National Fostering Framework Strategic Steering Group, CAFCASS and the Family Justice Network have all signed off the final version.
This is a guide to the assessment of family members, friends and other members of the family’s social network as kinship foster carers. The guide references special guardianship as the two assessments are so often undertaken concurrently when the child is either in the pre-proceedings process or the subject of care proceedings. The Best Practice Guide is based on current case law, research and findings from Child Practice/ Serious Case Reviews.
The Guidance has been developed with funding from the National Fostering Framework which is funded from the £8 million investment in Children’s Services announced by WG in 2017. £400k/ year was identified from this funding for the NFF Phase Three work program and, with agreement from the Welsh Local Government Association, was ring-fenced for the NFF in 2018-20.
The AFA Cymru team has grown and we are delighted to have welcomed Helen Hawksworth as the new Operational Manager. Within this new post, Helen will be taking the lead in overseeing the training and workshop programmes delivered by AFA Trainer Consultants and Associates, alongside delivering training herself. Helen is an experienced practitioner who has worked in the fields of fostering and adoption, child health and disability, youth justice and residential social work, and we are delighted that she has joined the team.
The pressures associated with regulatory change in both fostering and adoption in Wales are building as we move towards the implementation date. Having been heavily involved in the Welsh Government Technical Groups underpinning the changes, and the consultations that have followed, AFA Cymru staff are now busy ensuring that the CoramBAAF health and social care assessment forms for prospective adopters and foster carers are updated in time for the changes to regulations. In January, working groups looked at the changes required, at events in both north and south Wales. These formed the basis of the revision of the CoramBAAF forms for use in Wales post-April.
We are in the process of developing a range of new workshops so please keep an eye on our website for details.
We would also be very happy to talk to you about commissioned bespoke training for your agency or region, so please get in touch if there is anything you think we can help with.
We offer advice to members of the public and professionals.
02920 761155 or 01745 336336
AFA Cymru, c/o Children in Wales, 25 Windsor Place, CARDIFF CF10 3BZ
AFA Cymru, W2 Morfa Clwyd Business Centre, 84 Marsh Road, Rhyl, Denbighshire, LL18 2AF
In September 2015, The Association of Fostering and Adoption (AFA) Cymru was formed. Whilst its day to day operational services of training, consultancy, professional advice and information are delivered independently of St. David’s, it is by law governed by St. David’s Children Society under the terms of its charitable status.
St. David's Children Society is a registered charity (Registration No: 509163). A Company limited by Guarantee (Registered Cardiff 1546688).
Registered Office: St. David’s Children Society, 28 Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3BA.
The Association for Fostering and Adoption Cymru (AFA Cymru) is a Welsh charity that promotes good practice across the breadth of permanency planning for children and young people. It also offers advice, training and consultancy to professionals and members of the public to support best practice.